HEAVEN AND HELL OR THE DIVINE JUSTICE ACCORDING TO SPIRITISM

Allan Kardec

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10. The Spiritist Doctrine changes entirely our views of the future. The life to come is no longer a hypothesis, but a fact. The state of the soul after death is no longer a matter of theory, but a result of observation. The veil is lifted, and the spirit-world appears to us in all its activity and reality. It is not humankind who have discovered that world, through some ingenious conception of their imagination; it is the inhabitants of that world who come in person to describe to us the state of being in which they find themselves! We see them at every degree of spirit-life, in every phase of happiness or of unhappiness. We contemplate all the incidents of the life beyond the grave. It is this knowledge of the nature and details of life in the spirit-world that enables Spiritists to see death with calmness and gives serenity to their last moments upon the Earth. What sustains them is not a mere hope, but a certainty; they know that the future life is only a continuation of the present life, but under more favorable conditions. And they look forward to it with as much confidence as that with which they look forward to a new sunrise after a dark and stormy night. This confidence of Spiritists is a result of the facts that they have witnessed, and of the accordance of those facts with reason, with the justice and goodness of God, and with the deepest inspirations of the human mind.

For Spiritists the soul is not an abstraction for they know that it possesses an ethereal body, which makes of it a real and definite being, susceptible of being conceived of as such by our thought. This knowledge suffices to correct our ideas in regard to its individuality, aptitudes and perceptions. Our remembrances of those who are dear to us rest, henceforth, upon something real. We no longer represent them to ourselves as so many flickering flames offering nothing of their former personality to our thought. On the contrary, we see them under a concrete form, which shows them to belong to the category of living beings. Moreover, instead of regarding them as being lost to view, as formerly, in the depths of space, Spiritists know that they are beside us and around us; for they have learned that the corporeal world and the spiritual world are in close and perpetual connection. Doubt in relation to the future life being no longer possible to them, they have no longer any reason to be afraid of death. They behold its approach with perfect equanimity; for they know that the dissolution of their fleshly bodies will be for them a deliverance, the opening of a door through which they will pass, not into the yawning abyss of annihilation, but into a higher and happier state of existence.

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